Some nice wines blind with dinner

Had another wine dinner on Thursday night. Andrew Thomas hosted, with Will Willis and Stuart Bowman-Hood. Alas fellow regular with this group, Joe Wadsack, wasn’t able to make it. [Here's the report of our last dinner together.] We did some wine blind. The best way to taste: start off blind, but before too long do [...]

The rise of the lighter-coloured red wine

What’s the most interesting development in the world of wine? Single-variety Vinho Verde? Rosé in magnum? No, for me, it’s the rise of lighter-coloured red wines. And this is quite a new thing, and a big thing.

When I started out drinking wine seriously, back in the mid-1990s, bigger was best. The sorts of red wines [...]

In Sydney, day 1. Grasped by the shoulder!

Moon on the wing tip, flying into Sydney this morning

I have just arrived in Sydney, and while sitting drinking my first flat white of the trip, I jotted down some thoughts, prompted by the following lines in a book I was reading on the flight, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Wind, Sand and Stars.

Nobody grasped [...]

Wine media and the internet: are we drowning in a sea of mediocrity?

Recently, I discussed the way that the internet has changed the landscape of wine writing. I considered the impact on wine writers of an enormous increase in the volume of published wine media. Against all this noise, I asked, how can a professional wine writer ensure that their voice is heard?

Now I’d like to address [...]

Advice to emerging wine writers: be known for something, but be careful

Would you like to be a wine writer? Are you already a wine writer, but would like to take the next step?

Normally, I’d say you shouldn’t listen to advice from modestly successful people, but I reckon that the properly successful wine writers haven’t go enough time to dispense this sort of advice, so [...]

On flying and films

Just got home from Hong Kong. Had a lovely flight back, and it was in economy class. This was the first time I’d flown with Cathay Pacific, and I was impressed. I don’t know about their entire fleet, but the new 777s they fly on the London route are very nicely configured.

As long as you [...]

At the Rugby World Cup final!

On Saturday I was a lucky boy. I got a late invite to the Rugby World Cup final from Wakefield/Taylors, the Clare Valley winery, via new Wakefield employee Adrian Atkinson. It was a remarkable day, beginning with lunch at the Bull’s Head in Barnes (above, the view from Barnes Bridge – it was a glorious [...]

The Manchester derby

So, today was fun. It was the Manchester derby.

Some explanation is needed. In the English Premier League, this is one of the biggest of all derby games (when two teams from the same city play each other). And at the moment, arguably the two best teams in the country are the two Manchester clubs. City [...]

Press trip dynamics, and Tuckman's model

I’m on another press trip. This time, it’s to Champagne.

One of the most interesting things about press trips is the group dynamics, especially when you are travelling with people you don’t know. On my last trip (the group picture is above), I mentioned this to our Wine & Partners host, Andrea, and she told me [...]

Exploring a limited creative space: black and white and wine

I have recently been playing around with black and white photography. Although I would never claim to be a serious photographer, I enjoy taking pictures, and I love images that look good (to me, at least). The decision to switch my EP-5 to black and white (there’s an ‘art’ setting) has made me think about [...]